Construction & Permitting

The Planning and Development Department is available to discuss your development and building plans in Whitecourt.  Before beginning any project there are several steps you will need to take to make sure your new development is in compliance with local bylaws and regulations.

Information Brochures

The Planning and Development Department has a series of brochures detailing information on a number of development issues and topics. To find out what you need to know so that your project runs smoothly, select the type of project from the following list.

Other information brochures:

Land Use Bylaw

The Town's Land Use Bylaw regulates how land and buildings are used, the location of the buildings, site coverage, building heights, and other provisions to ensure proper development. The Land Use Bylaw impacts everyone in Whitecourt at some point and to varying degrees - whether you are building a fence or deck, or starting a new business.

Municipal Development Plan

The Municipal Development Plan is a guide for growth and development in Whitecourt.  It includes maps and policies that are used to establish strategies to reach a future community vision.

Permits

Many different types of construction, renovation, demolition, and landscaping projects require permits.  If you have questions please contact the Planning and Development Department.  For more information, refer to the Town's information brochure on Applying For Permits.

One requirement of development permits is to install low consumption fixtures.  For more information on this requirement contact the Planning & Development Department.

Fee Schedule

Safety Codes Agencies

Safety Codes Officers (SCO) review building plans and complete construction inspections as required under the Alberta Building Code. You must have a plans review completed by an accredited SCO before a building permit can be issued. Applicants are free to hire from any of the agencies on the linked list. If you have any questions, please contact the Planning and Development department at 780-778-2273 or planning@whitecourt.ca.

Area Structure Plan

Area Structure Plans (ASP) provides land uses, access and servicing, and policy direction for specific neighbourhoods or areas of the municipality. The principles and objectives established in each plan guide growth of future neighbourhoods by setting out general locations for major land uses (i.e. residential, commercial, industrial, schools and parks), major roadways, utility servicing, trail systems, and potential population density. Whitecourt follows a public consultation process throughout the development process of all ASPs, and requires that a Public Hearing be held prior to any document proceeding before Council for adoption. The following ASPs provide for future development in our community:

Town of Whitecourt Area Structure Plans are available at the Town Office for public viewing during our regular business hours. If you have any questions, please contact the Planning and Development Department at (780) 778-2273 or at planning@whitecourt.ca.

Subdivisions

Subdivisionmeans the division of a parcel of land into one or more smaller lots by a plan of subdivision or other instrument. If you are planning on subdividing, or have questions regarding subdivisions, please contact our Planning and Development Department at 780-778-2273 or planning@whitecourt.ca.

Sign Permits

Whitecourt's Land Use Bylaw regulates signs within the community to ensure that signs:

  • Do not impede the view of pedestrian or vehicle traffic;
  • Do not become a safety hazard (i.e. tripping) or are left in a state of disrepair;
  • Are of good quality and aesthetically finished.

Sign regulations are outlined in the Land Use Bylaw. All signs, except for A-Board signs, require permits.

A-Board Signs

An A-Board sign is a self-supporting sign consisting of two panels not more than 1.0 metre high or 0.6 metres wide, and is joined at the top. (Also knownas sandwich boards.) Permits for A-Board signs are not required as long as the size and placement meets the Land Use Bylaw. For more information read Whitecourt's information brochure on A-Board signs.

Home Occupations

A home occupation is an occupation, trade, craft or profession carried on by an occupant of a residential neighbourhood as a secondary use of the residence. It is a discretionary use, and the application must be approved by the Municipal Planning Commission.

Each business that is considered a home occupation must have an approved Development Permit. You may also have to get approval from other provincial agencies, such as Alberta Health, Alberta Labour, and Alberta Consumer and Corporate Affairs.

A home occupation can not change the character of a home or show any outside evidence of a secondary use other than a small name plate (not exceeding 0.3m2 in area). All residents of a home may be employed in home occupation, but employees who are non-residents may not work in the home. For more information on home occupations, please refer to our information brochure or contact the Planning & Development Department at 780-778-2273.

Business Licences

Business Licences are not required in Whitecourt.

However, if you are opening a new business or opening in a new location, you may need to apply for a development permit. For further information and assistance please contact the Planning & Development Department at 780-778-2273.

Door to Door Solicitation

A person or business that does not have a permanent place of business or solicits door to door to carry on any business, trade or occupation is subject to the fees and licence requirements under the Hawkers and Pedlars Bylaw.

Off-Site Levies

Off-Site Levies are growth related improvement charges a municipality may collect from developers under the Municipal Government Act (MGA) as a cost recovery tool to help fund “off-site” infrastructure projects. The Off-Site Levy Bylaw 1435 and Off-Site Levy Policy 61-004 are currently being reviewed by Town Council. Information sessions with Developers and the General Public regarding the proposed changes will be held in the near future. If you have any questions regarding Off-Site Levies, please contact the Planning and Development department at 780-778-2273 or planning@whitecourt.ca.

Design and Construction Standards

The objective of design and standards for Whitecourt is to ensure all infrastructure work is constructed to a consistent practice. The commencement date of the standards was January 11, 1999, and any construction after this date must comply with this set of standards. The design sections are meant to be minimum standards and not rigid requirements; the Town is receptive to changes where proven technical and economical solutions achieve a better solution. The standards are applicable to any Town contract or private development.

Policy Manual

The Policy Manual serves as an operational guide to Council, staff, and the public, and provides guidelines for the Town to serve the community efficiently and effectively. The policies relating to Planning and Development can be found under “Municipal Planning and Development” Section 61.

Do you have questions about permits or zoning? Contact the Planning Assistant at 780-778-2273.